The Top of the Rock features one of the best views of the New York City skyline from both an indoor observation deck, and two outdoor observation decks.
Also known as “30 Rock”, the famous art deco style skyscraper, and home of NBC Studios, offers 360-degree panoramic views of New York City from the 67th, 69th, and 70th floor of 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
This iconic attraction also features a multi-media interactive educational exhibit to enhance the experience.
Looking for Top of the Rock Observatory Discount Tickets?
We’ve got you covered – Top of the Rock Observatory admission is available with the below money saving options, so you can choose the attraction pass that’s right for you:
1. Explorer Pass – Choose as you go. Includes admission of up to 10 attractions.
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See all available passes, attractions & prices – Learn more.
Now you can take your trip to NYC to new heights–850 feet above ground level to be exact.Note: the below ads are not affiliated with SmartDestinations.com
Tips for Visiting Top of the Rock
- Take your time at the exhibits on the way up to the Top of the Rock, once you pass through, you cannot return.
- Save on combined admission to the Top of the Rock and other popular New York City attractions with a Go New York Explorer Pass.
- Bring a back-up battery for your camera or mobile device–you’ll be taking lots of pictures.
- Head to 30 Rockefeller Plaza in the morning for the most choices for a timed tickets.
- Look up the time of sunset for the day and get your timed ticket for about one hour before sunset, also known as “the golden hour” for photography. Plus, you’ll get daytime and evening views of the city when the buildings light up.
- Download the Top of the Rock app for a skyline guide that identifies what buildings you’re looking at, audio tours you can listen to, and more. Insider tip: download the audio tour over WiFi before your trip to save data.
- Plan to stay a while. There is no time limit on the observation decks so make the most of it and plan to stay a while.
- Visit another popular observation deck so you can compare Top of the Rock vs Empire State Building.
When to Visit the Observation Deck
To avoid the largest crowds, save your Top of the Rock trip for a weekday. Head to 30 Rockefeller Plaza early in the day and get a timed ticket.
The best views are arguably right before sunset to get both daytime and twilight views.
What to Bring
- A camera is a must! Bring back-up batteries if you have them.
- Dress for the weather as the observation decks are outdoors and keep in mind that it’s windier at the top: sunscreen, rain jacket, sweater, sunglasses, etc.
- Quarters if you want to use the coin-operated binoculars.
- A selfie stick for memorable photos of yourself with the Empire State Building in the background.
What to Do at Top of the Rock
Take your time going through the exhibits on the way up to the observations decks to get the background history and learn about this iconic New York City landmark building.
The Grand Atrium Lobby
Be sure to look up when you’re in the lobby for a view of “Joie – Crystal Water Fall”, a 35 foot delicate chandelier made of 600 free hanging strands of perfectly cut Swarovski crystals. Designed by Michael Hammers, the chandelier is an inverted replica of the shape of 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
Mezzanine Level Exhibit
This multi-media exhibit enhances visitors Top of the Rock experience by providing entertaining information about the building’s rich history, its iconic art deco architecture designed by famed architect Raymond Hood, the construction of the building, and more. Visitors can watch informative videos on plasma screens and observe the original basswood model of 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
Learn about John D. Rockefeller’s original plans for the building in 1928 and how the crash of the stock market on October 24, 1929, the beginning of the Great Depression, changed his vision and the building’s construction became a simple of hope for economic recovery.
Browse through photographs and artifacts from the building’s construction and check out the original architect’s model for the building. You’ll see how the building was a feat of engineering and learn about some of the individual workers who contributed to its construction including the iconic photo “lunchtime” portraying construction workers sitting on a construction beam and eating lunch–you’ll even have a chance to pose for your own “lunchtime” photograph!
Walk along the interactive beam walk, a motion technology simulated exhibit that allows visitors to see what it was like to walk across one of the building beams during the buildling’s construction.
The Sky Shuttle Elevator Ride and Light Show
Among the world’s fastest elevators, the Sky Shuttle travels 700 feet in less than a minute. While inside, keep your eyes to the sky for an entertaining light show.
The second Swarovski crystal installation at the Top of the Rock is the Radiance Wall, a large, colorful crystal geode wall located on the 67th observation floor.
There are three floors of observation decks; the 68th, 69th, and 70th.
The 67th floor is where the elevator lets visitors out and features exhibits, a souvenir shop, and mostly indoor views of New York City.
The 69th floor features open-air, 360-degree views of the city from behind the safety of glass panels.
The 70th floor features open-air, 360-degree views of the city with no glass panels.
Each of the observation decks feature stunning views of many notable New York City skyline icons, including:
- The Empire State Building
- One World Trade Center
- The Chrysler Building
- Bank of America Tower
- Central Park
- The Brooklyn Bridge
- The Statue of Liberty
- Trump Tower
- Times Square
- Flatiron Building
- and many more
New York City is huge, be sure to visit other top attractions close to Rockefeller Plaza while you’re in the area to make the most of your time. Check out our New York City by Neighborhood Guide for more NYC itinerary tips, and our Getting Around NYC Guide.
Tour of Rockefeller Center – For a full Rockefeller experience, be sure to go on a guided tour of the “hub of Manhattan”, Rockefeller Center, which has earned the status of a National Landmark. Comprised of 19 commercial buildings, the center is spread out over a space of 89,000 square meters. You’ll go through the center’s most recognizable spots, including its gardens and some of its buildings.
Museum of Modern Art – Visit the greatest collection of modern art in the world and experience the New York museum scene. Home to Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night, Claude Monet’s Reflections of Clouds on the Water-Lily Pond, Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans, and many more iconic works of art, visitors will enjoy the museums premier permanent collection.
Radio City Music Hall Stage Door Tour – Get a behind-the-scenes look and meet a real-life Rockette on a tour of Radio City Music Hall, the “Showplace of the Nation” and host to some of the world’s most famous events, including the Grammy’s and MTV Music Awards.
Places to Eat Nearby
If you want to grab a bite to eat during your visit, the Top of the Rock has a few options to choose from, right in the building, including:
Auntie Anne’s – For a small snack to hold you over until mealtime, grab a pretzel from Auntie Anne’s, located just outside the Top of the Rock ticketing lobby and souvenir shop.
SIXTYFIVE – For a cocktail and appetizers before or after your trip to the top, head to SIXTYFIVE Bar and Cocktail Lounge located on the 30th floor of 30 Rockefeller Plaza and featuring views that are almost as good as the top.
Rock Center Café – For a sit-down meal right in the building, head to Rock Center Café, the buildings namesake dining destination. In the winter, the restaurant features front row views of the famous ice skating rink and outdoor garden seating in the summer months.
Cucina & Co. – For more casual fare, check out Cucina & Co. for gourmet Mediterranean sandwiches, pastas, salads, and more. Dine-in or take-out.
Need to Know
- Daily: 8:00 am-12:00 am. The first elevator goes up at 8:00 am and the last one goes up at 11:00 pm.
- Holidays: check the site for up-to-date holiday hours.
Directions & Address
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10112
The main entrance is located on 50th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue.
Public Transportation: Plug your starting address into the correct field for subway, train, walking, biking, or driving directions to 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
Save on Admission Tickets with a New York City Explorer Pass
Remember, the New York City Explorer Pass® is the best choice for maximum savings and flexibility, which includes Empire State Building tickets, plus admission to your choice of other top attractions.
Save up to 50% on top museums, tours, and activities vs. paying at the gate. Visit multiple New York City attractions for one low price.